Final day in Bucharest/ Journey to Bulgaria

I spent my last day in Bucharest just chilling. I’d seen almost everything I wanted to. After spending the morning reading in a cafe I went to a climbing gym, Alpin Club Carapatic.

Their bouldering room was upstairs with no ac and no windows. It was like bouldering in a sauna.

The next morning I packed and went to the main train station, Gara de Nord.

They only run one train to Sofia a day, at 12:50. I knew it was going to be a long day, I wish it left earlier.

We stopped when we pulled into the last town in Romania before going over the border. They collected our passports and disappeared with them for 15-20 minutes. Eventually we got them back, stamped. They powered down the train and the engine pulled away and left us sitting there. Over 90° with no ac and no open windows. We were practically clawing at the windows and doors. After a long hour, we finally got another engine and went across the bridge over the Danube. Finally, Bulgaria! But then we stopped, they collected and stamped the passports again. We got another engine. At least we were only stopped for about 40 minutes that time.

I met two girls on the train, an American and a Canadian, who were also getting of at the Veliko Tarnovo stop. By the time we got off, we had missed out connecting train into the city. 

First things first, get Bulgarian money out of the ATM. No luck. No problems with my card, it just declined to give me money. Thank goodness I was with those two other girls, they covered me till we got to the hostel. I also felt much safer taking a taxi with them too.

The hostel is awesome, Hostel Mostel. We’re kinda out in the country side. It’s relaxing and nice not to be in a big city. We got there just in time for dinner which is included in our stay!

Although, I had a hard time falling asleep after a spider crawled across my arm in bed.

Sorry for the long story, for once pictures just wouldn’t convey the torment of the train journey.

But here’s a picture of the street I’m staying on.

Train day

Yesterday was just travel. I had breakfast in Brasov, then made my way to the train station at noon.

That’s not the train station, just a cute building.

After spending three hours on the train back to Bucharest I just wanted to move around, so I went to another hot pod yoga.

The pod is kinda cool, it gets so hot in there though. I felt much better after.

Art and Climbing

I’ve tried and tired, it’s useless ordering a tea here. I usually have a black tea with milk and sugar. I feel like this should be something that cafes can handle. They ask me if I want milk, I say yes and always try to take the carton and add it myself. But here they add steamed milk!! Before the tea bag is even in the water!!

I had to start drinking coffee drinks. I’m working my way through the various ones since I know nothing about coffee.

And breakfast.

Then the National Museum of Art of Romania.

And I found a tiny church.

I made it to my first climbing gym in Romania, Fabrica!

Day trip to Brasov tomorrow, gotta wake up early.

Mijas

Today we jumped in the car and drove up to the base of the mountains to the town of Mijas.

It was a fantastic little town. Although, there was a lot of construction on their main road and we had to park up the hill and take a shuttle back into town.

After tapas lunch we waited to get the shuttle back to our car and were very disappointed to find out that the shuttle stopped running from 2-7. Wtf, a five hour gap?? With no other option, we trudged up the hill.

Limiting my sun exposure and tan lines.

We were good Samaritans though and went back to town and gave a old couple a ride to the top, the walk wasn’t too far, but in the sun it wasn’t fun.

Then more beach and a few bottles of wine. It was a very good evening!

Day trip to Switzerland

We rented a car for the day and took a beautiful, although rainy, drive through the mountains to Gruyere for a cheese tour.

I’ve had so much fondu on this trip!

Then we drive through the countryside and went to a vinorama that had wine tasting for the smaller family wineries in the Lavaux region that don’t have tasting rooms themselves.

Once we got back we dried off, warmed up, and had a few beers before heading out. Like this bizarre violet beer.

We grabbed some hot dogs and watched a bit of the climbing comp.

Chamonix Yoga Festival

We woke early and finished packing. Jack got picked up for his flight and I walked over to Melinda and Dean’s hotel room. They have an extra bunk in their family style room so I’m super lucky that they’ll let me crash with them until Wednesday.

Melinda planned a fantastic day for us, two different yoga classes that were part of the Chamonix Yoga Festival.

At 9:00 we did yoga outside in front of a church.

Then back to the hotel pool and hot tub.

Refreshed, we took a lift up to a halfway point and did yoga on the mountain in the afternoon.

Dinner was the best yet. Slow cooked pork belly.

Starting tomorrow there’s a climbing comp in town, we caught the opening ceremonies.

Of course we finished of the night watching France vs Portugal in the Euro Cup.

Road side cragging in Chamonix

We hadn’t really planned on climbing here since we would be so under prepared in terms of gear, but we found a sport crag. It was all pretty easy stuff, I think it’s where guides take beginner climbers, but we got a couple of full pitches in and it was nice to be on the rock.

And just behind us, the mountains!

Later, we cleaned up and took some beer and wine to Melinda and Dean’s till we were ready for dinner.

Had a weird beer. It’s categorized as a herb/ spiced beer. I was told it’s made with absinthe? Maybe? The color was pretty crazy though, I kept looking at it hardly believing I was drinking beer.